Standing/Sitting At Work

Standing/Sitting At Work

If you are on your feet a lot, you may ask, "Why does standing cause my legs to ache?" People who have jobs which require prolonged standing often complain of aching, heavy legs.  Prolonged standing results in the accumulation of fluid in the soft tissue and high pressure in the veins. Both of these cause pain and discomfort. 

Visit the Leg Elevation Classroom to learn more about the effects of standing and sitting on the health of our legs. However, what follows is a brief explanation of why standing and sitting elevates the pressure in our veins and makes our legs ache. 

Our veins must get the venous blood back to the heart and therefore must work against gravity. Veins have valves to help keep blood flowing in the right direction. These valves only come into play when we are walking or are active. When the calf muscles contract, they squeeze the veins causing the valves to close and only allow blood flow back towards the heart. This is called the “calf muscle pump.” When we are simply standing or sitting, the valves are open which results in high pressure in the veins and leg swelling. 

Patients with venous disease often have valves which don’t function. These are called incompetent valves. This makes it very difficult for venous blood to get back to the heart, as the “calf muscle pump” is no longer effective. Studies have shown that even in patients without venous disease, after 5 hours of standing, the veins can become enlarged and this can result in the valves not working properly. This results in even higher venous pressure which can hurt and result in even more swelling.

The same principles apply when we are sitting, but the pressure in the veins is not as high as when we are standing.

At the end of the work day, leg elevation lowers the venous pressure and empties the fluid that has accumulated in our legs all day. After standing or sitting all day, nothing feels better than 20 minutes with the Lounge Doctor Leg Rest.

There are many jobs which require long periods of standing. You probably spend a lot of time standing if you work in a:
  1. Grocery store
  2. Airport
  3. Hotel
  4. Restaurant
  5. Department Store
  6. Home improvement store
  7. Factory
  8. School
  9. Hospital
  10. Construction site
  11. Theme park this is a very long example of a list item that takes up multiple lines and is simply used to judge the line height and the treatment of text thereof.

You may also have to stand for an outrageous length of time if you need to have anything done at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or if your wife makes you go shopping with her.